Stock Image

This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland

Ehrlich, Gretel

621 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0679442006 / ISBN 13: 9780679442004
Published by Pantheon Books, New York, 2001
Condition: Near Fine, Remainder Mark Hardcover
From sterlingbooksofaltadena (Altadena, CA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since May 6, 2004

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 20.00 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 3.50 Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

Signed by the author on the title page. Size: 6 1/4" x 9 1/2" Tall. Bookseller Inventory # 021672

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland

Publisher: Pantheon Books, New York

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hard

Book Condition:Near Fine, Remainder Mark

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition, First Printing.

About this title


For the last decade, Gretel Ehrlich has been obsessed by an island, a terrain, a culture, and the men and women who long for and love the complex frailties and treacherous beauty of a world defined by ice.

Greenland, the world’s largest island, 840,000 square miles in extent, is covered by the largest continental ice sheet in the world.

Only the rocky fringe of its coast is habitable. There, the Inuit, the Arctic’s first explorers, have survived and thrived in the harshest of climates. For the Inuit, an ice-age, ice-adapted people who first traveled from Siberia across the polar North six thousand years ago, weather is consciousness. In a world composed of ice and darkness, water and light, where skins of dog, seal, bear, even hare and eider duck, are sewn into clothes, tents, and sleeping bags as protection, where transport is by dogsled and kayak, the only rein for the uncontrollable force of weather is an unbending self-discipline. The blend of physical endurance and psychological perseverance required for daily existence first drew Ehrlich to this terrain.

Her guide, her inspiration, her companion in spirit was the great Danish-Inuit explorer and ethnographer Knud Rasmussen. Between 1902 and his death in 1933 he launched seven expeditions: to record the unknown history and customs of the nomadic Eskimos; to chronicle the skills, beliefs,and crafts that made life in this climate possible and a matter of grace. For Rasmussen, “all true wisdom is only to be found far from the dwellings of man, in great solitudes.” As she followed his trail, Ehrlich was to find the things that can open the mind to what is hidden from others. This Cold Heaven is at once a distillation of her many journeys, a path into a world divided into darkness and light and, finally, an attempt to capture the clarity that blinds us with surprise.


From the acclaimed chronicler of open spaces, Gretel Ehrlich, comes a stunning and lyrical evocation of a practically unknown place and people. Beginning in 1993, Ehrlich traveled to Greenland, the northernmost country in the world, in every season--the four months of perpetual dark (in which the average temperature is 25 degrees below zero), the four months of constant daylight, and the twilight seasons in between--traveling up the west coast, often by dogsled, and befriending the resilient and generous Inuits along the way. Greenland, unlike its name, is 95 percent ice--a landscape of deep rock-walled fjords, glaciers, narwhal whales swimming among icebergs the size of football fields, walruses busting through oceans of shifting ice. In the far north, the polar Inuit--the "real heroes"--still dress in bear and seal skins, and hunt walrus, polar bears, and whales with harpoons. The only constant is weather and the perilous movements of ice, the only transport is dogsled, and the closest village may be a month and a half-long dogsled journey away. The people share an austere and harsh life, lightened with humor and the fantastic stories of Sila, the god of weather, Nerrivik, the goddess of waters, of humans transforming themselves into animals, and interspecies marriages. Interwoven with Ehrlich's journey is the even more remarkable story of Knud Rasmussen, the founder of Eskimology, an Inuit-Danish explorer and ethnographer who took some of the most hazardous and brilliant expeditions ever, including a three and a half-year, 20,000-mile adventure by dogsled across the polar north to Alaska. Like Rasmussen, Ehrlich learns that the landscape of Greenland is "less a description of desolation than an ode to the beauty of impermanence." Alternately mind-expanding, gripping, and dreamlike, This Cold Heaven is a revelation. --Lesley Reed

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

40,000 good books in many categories, for the book lover even more than for the collector.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

credit cards through Abebooks.
Gary Sterling
2396 N. Highland Ave.
Altadena, CA 91001
Phone: (626) 791-4500

Shipping Terms:

Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express